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“ have been Divine, because impeccable. Therefore (continues he), " though we attribute to God, as its author, this self-determining power, 66 which is so necessary in the order of the universe; we have no reason " to attribute to him that evil which comes by the abuse of liberty : for u God doth not cause that aversion from good which is in the soul when “ it sins; he only gave to the soul such a power as might turn itself to “ evil, out of which he produces much good, which, without such a es power, could not have been produced by Omnipotence itself.”
Those who wish to go farther into this inquiry than the above observa. tions of Simplicius will lead them, may turn to a very masterly “ Essay 66 on the Permission of Evil,” in the second volume of the “ Works” of Dr. Hamilton, late Bishop of Ossory; or to part the third of Mr. Samuel Drew's valuable “ Essay on the Being, Attributes, and Pro. “ vidence of Deity.” In the latter of these works most of the ob. jections to what is denominated the doctrine of particular providence, have received a very decisive refutation.
On the Resurrection of the Body.
IF a being, which was constituted by the union of two substances essentially different, were appointed to continue, it must continue a mixed being, or it would be no longer the same being; so that if man is to exist in a future state, the doctrine of the resurrection of the body is a necessary consequence of his nature: those who admit the immortality of the soul, and deny the resurrection of the body, therefore forget the man, and, in effect, deprive him of existence beyond the grave. Still, it has been thought, by many persons in all ages, “ a thing in“ credible that God should raise the dead;” (i) and the contrary is no where positively asserted, but in the Scriptures received by Christians, or in writings founded upon them. There are many passages in the Old Testament which either obscurely hint at the resurrection, or immediately refer to it:(k) yet they are by no means such as produced a firm belief in the doctrine among the Jews. The Sadducees, for example, " say that there is no resurrection,
(i) Acts, xxvi. 8. (k) Such as Job, xix. 23—27. Dan. xii. 2, 3. Is. xxv. 8. xxvi. 19. Hos. vi. 2. xiii. 14. Ezek. xxxvii. 1-14. See also Ps. xlix. 14, 15, and Boothroyd's note, in loc. vol. ii. p. 124 of his Improved Version.
“ neither angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees allow 66 both.” (1) And even among our Lord's disciples, though some of them, like Lazarus's sister Martha, believed that the dead would « rise again in the resur“rection at the last day,” (m) others doubted and * wondered what rising from the dead could mean.” (n) When Paul preached to the philosophers at Athens, and declared to them the resurrection of Jesus, they were astonished at the novelty and singularity of his doctrine, and “ said, he seemeth to be a setter forth of “ strange gods, because he preached unto them Jesus 6 and the Resurrection:" (0) these philosophers were so deplorably ignorant as, when the Apostle used the words Ingous and Ayastanis, to fancy that he was labouring to introduce a new god and goddess amongst them! When he urged the matter still farther, “ they “ scoffed :” and on another occasion, when he was pleading before Agrippa and Festus, the latter interrupted him the moment he adverted to the resurrection of Jesus, exclaiming, “ Paul, thou art mad, much “ learning driveth thee to madness.” (p) Conformably with the conduct of most other heathens, Pliny classes it amongst impossible things which God cannot accomplish,~Revocare defunctos, "to call back the · dead to life.' And Celsus calls the hope of the resurrection, the hope of worms, a very filthy and 6 abominable as well as impossible thing : it is that
(1) Matt. xxii. 23. Acts, xxiii. 8.
(n) Mark, ix. 10.
(p) Acts, xxvi. 24.
which God neither can nor will do, being base and * contrary to nature.' (9)
This doctrine of the Resurrection of the dead is, however, as I have already intimated, one of the great articles of the Christian faith. We believe that Jesus died and rose again ; (9) we also believe, for so we are taught in the New Testament, that “them which sleep “ in Jesus will God bring with him," that “ Christ 5 by his rising became the first fruits of them that "" slept,” that “the dead shall be raised incorruptible,” that “the grave and the sea shall give up their dead," that, at this resurrection, “ the dead in Christ shall “ rişe first,” that the Lord Jesus Christ will change 66 our vile body, and fashion it like unto his glorious 6 body, according to the working of that mighty power “ whereby he is able to subdue all things to him“6 self.” (s)
Clearly as this doctrine is revealed, in the above quoted and several other places of Scripture, it is notwithstanding doubted by many professing Christians. And it has been usually denied by infidels, and selected by them as one of the most vulnerable points in the system of Christianity. Yet, taking Deists upon their own ground, I conceive the reasonableness, if not the necessity, of the resurrection may be established: while, to those who allow the authenticity and correct
(q) Orig. cont. Cels. lib. v. This, of course, is refuted by Origen ; and others of the Ante-nicene fathers, especially Justin Martyr and Tertullian in their Apologies, most ingeniously defend the doctrine of the church as to this point. See also Clemens Romanus's Ist epistle.
(r) See Letter viï. vol. i. (s) 1 Thes. iv. 14, 16. 1 Cor. xv. 20. 52. Rev. xx, 13. Phil. ii, 21.
ness of the New Testament history, the matter will be placed beyond the reach of dispute.
In the estimation of Deists God is a wise and just governor of the world : such a governor must reward the good and punish the wicked: but, in the present state, we often see good men under suffering, bad men following and enjoying pleasure, through the greater part of life: the character of the governor, therefore, requires that there should be a future state in which this great anomaly shall be adjusted; and, of course, a state of existence not for the body alone, nor for the soul alone, but for the man in his mixed nature, constituted of soul and body. It is the man, and not a part of him merely, which this simple train of reasoning requires us to expect shall be rewarded or punished. (t) Nor can the conclusion be fairly resisted, unless it can be shown that the resurrection of the body is impossible; and that it is not impossible may be safely inferred from history, and the analogy of nature, in the following manner.
From history we learn not merely that the body of Lazarus was reanimated after he had been interred four days, and that of Jesus Christ after it had lain in the grave part of three days; but farther that " after His 66 resurrection many bodies of the saints which slept
(t) I am aware, it may be said, and indeed it has often been said, that since consciousness and feeling exist in the soul, the future existence of the soul is all that can fairly be inferred from this argument. But we have at least as good reasons for affirming as any can have for denying that in all probability, the capacity of the soul for feeling the highest degrees of pleasure or pain depends upon its union with an organized body.